By: Terry Foster
Let me contradict myself right at the top.
I do not believe Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is worth $15 million a year. But the Lions are lucky to have him for the next five years at an average of $15 million a year.
It’s been reported that Stafford signed a three-year contract extension which will pay him an average of $15 for the remaining five years of his contract. He gets $43 million in guaranteed money. It is a massive deal for a guy that has been a run of the mill quarterback for most of his career. Yes, he has passed for 5,000 the past two years but much if it was empty yards. And the Lions own a losing record with Stafford at quarterback.
He is also 1-23 as a starter against teams that finished the season with a winning record. That is not all his fault but Stafford is being paid like he is an elite quarterback. And he is not.
ESPN analyst ranked Stafford as the 16th best quarterback in the NFL. He’s never had Stafford as a top 10 QB and that rankles fans around here. However, those numbers are about right. There are a lot of good middle of the road quarterbacks. Stafford belongs there until he can take the next step.
The Lions believe Stafford is a franchise quarterback. That means they could not play around and risk not signing Stafford. My guess is Stafford did not want to sign a long term deal with the Lions. Most franchise quarterbacks like Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers signed five and six-year extensions.
It is strange that Stafford did not. The fans evaluate Stafford every day. He is still evaluating the Lions, a franchise that has had a very difficult time getting it right.
The Lions got him for a little cheaper than they thought. And Stafford isn’t staying as long as the Lions want.
It is probably a good deal for both sides.